As of the end of December 2007 and the beginning of January 2008, Internet Explorer 7 is now the most used browser worldwide. 2008 has debuted with nothing but good news for Microsoft that in the month of December has experienced a consistent increase in the install base of IE7. An ascendant trajectory uncharacteristic of the second half of 2007. According to statistics made available by Net Applications, Internet Explorer 7 accounts for 40.61% of the browser market, while IE6 has slipped to just 35.18%.
Between October 2006 and February 2007, IE7's install base exploded to approximately 30% of the market. At the same time, IE7 was eating away at IE6, and the 2004 version of Internet Explorer dropped from 77.22% to just 49.48% in the same period of time. Then, from March to November the share of IE7 grew just 7% up to 36.84%. A couple of months ago, IE6 was still enjoying the lion's share of the browser market with 40.24%.
This is no longer the case. Although Microsoft has yet to confirm the data provided by Net Applications, with a share of 40.61%, Internet Explorer 7 jumped almost 4% between November and December 2007, and is the most used browser in the world, having effectively dethroned IE6. There is, of course, a combination of factors that have resparked the growth of IE7. First off, Microsoft has stripped the WGA anti-piracy mechanism from the browser, opening it up to all Windows pirates. IE7 is, at the same time, growing with Windows Vista as the product ships by default with the operating system. But perhaps most importantly, the Redmond company is still serving IE7 via Automatic Updates to IE6 users on Windows XP SP2.